Challenges and Lessons Learned from Providing Large-Scale Evaluation Technical Assistance to Build the Adolescent Pregnancy Evidence Base (Journal Article)

Publisher: American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, issue S1 (subscription required)
Sep 30, 2016
Jean Knab, Russell P. Cole, and Susan Goerlich Zief
This is the third editorial in a series of related opinion pieces. The first editorial provided a description of the Office of Adolescent Health’s (OAH) investment in teen pregnancy prevention (TPP) programs and the evaluation technical assistance (TA) contract that was intended to support funded grantees. That editorial also outlined the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) evidence standards that guided the evaluation TA contract. The second editorial detailed the activities conducted under the evaluation TA contract with the first cohort of funded grantees.2 Implementing a large-scale TA effort was not without challenges. These challenges were necessary and expected, as the federal government looks to support large-scale grantee-led evaluations to build the evidence base in TPP. The lessons learned from these challenges laid the groundwork for a second a round of evaluation TA with a second cohort of TPP grantees that began in summer 2015. These challenges and their solutions can also inform other federally sponsored evaluation TA efforts. The following is a discussion of the major challenges in providing TA to the grantees in cohort 1. These challenges were identified through the TA activities laid out in Zief et al., primarily our monitoring calls and document reviews.